Thursday, September 21, 2023

First Day Blues (and Reds and Yellows and Greens and Purples and ...)

 I'm still reminiscing about school days and every year when school starts up, I always reflect upon my own "dear old golden rule days" back in the 1970's.  Throw in this recent find, and I'm instantly transported back to my first day of school at Point Elementary in South St. Louis County, Missouri.

Friday, September 15, 2023

School Bus Memories

It's school time once again, and actually has been for the last few weeks.  I'm running a little behind on posts.

Anyway, it's school time once again, and school buses are on the streets.  This isn't one of those PSAs to advise you to watch for kids.  It's just a lead-in for one of my latest finds.

I went to at an estate sale of a former bus driver for a local elementary school last weekend.  There were lots of items that had clearly been given to him by his passengers through the years.  One that caught my eye was this Toy Bus Animal Crackers box.

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

I'm Cuccu for Cuccuma

A few months ago, I picked up an Imusa Moka pot Expresso 3-cup coffee maker. It wasn't vintage, but it's something I always wanted to try.  I'm actually surprised I didn't write about it.  Anyway, it works great and makes good coffee, although it's a little involved and doesn't make a lot of coffee.

So when I saw this at a recent estate sale, I assumed it was another similar coffee maker.

Saturday, July 29, 2023

Saturday Night Popcorn

 When I was a kid, treats and snacks were limited, but I could usually talk my mom into making popcorn at least once a month, usually on a Saturday night.  It was made on the stovetop in a big cooking pot with regular vegetable oil and the cheapest popcorn kernels we could buy.  It was seasoned with table salt and served in a large tin cake pan.  Then I'd settle down in front of our RCA console color TV for a double-header of  "Love Boat" and "Fantasy Island" or maybe the CBS Saturday Night Movie.

Sometimes my mom would spring for a more expensive popcorn brand like Jolly Time that came with it's own packet of yellow-colored seasoning. I loved that powdery salt. I told myself it tasted like butter (it didn't).

In my teen years, my desire for popcorn as a weekly snack got to the point that my mom finally bought a popcorn popper.  It was a simple Mirro brand model; just an electric pot with a lid similar to this one, although ours had a clear plastic lid (this, by the way, was not my find).

I once scalded the inside of my nostril sniffing the popcorn immediately after lifting the lid (I told you, I really loved popcorn); lesson learned.

It made adequate popcorn, but I sometimes burned the bottom. There is no worse smell than burnt popcorn.  I longed for one of these (this IS my find):

Tuesday, July 25, 2023

ICEE with my Little Eye

I know, it's "I Spy,", but that doesn't work for today's blog title. Work with me here, people!

I drove past an unassuming little garage sale a few weeks ago.  I almost didn't stop as it looked like mostly new items, but I figured, "Hey, I'm here."

The host was probably in his 40's, so I was surprised to find a vintage 1968 Icee Bear gym(?) bag for sale for $1.

Wednesday, July 19, 2023

Of All the Blogs in the World, You had to Walk into Mine

Did you ever have a dream and wake up thinking, "That's a great idea for a blog title!"  No? Maybe it's just me.  But that's how I came up with today's blog title.

I dreamt long-time reader and longer-time friend FrankO had sent me some items he had found and within lay some mystery to solve. All I can remember about the items were they were a gathering of paper; photos, newspaper clippings, etc.  And FrankO wanted me to research and solve something about them.  And so, I wrote a blog about solving the mystery of them and titled the blog as I've done here.  

As I said, I then woke up and thought, "Hey! That's a great idea for a blog title!"  Unfortunately, I didn't have a mystery garage sale find to go with it.  But as I lay there unable to fall back asleep because now my brain was in overdrive, I realized, I kind of DO have a garage sale mystery I recently found.

But first, let's talk about that title.  What does it have to do with mysteries?  At first I thought, well of course, it's a Humphrey Bogart line. I could hear him saying it.  Then I realized, it's a line from "Casablanca" where he is decidedly not a detective.  The actual quote is "Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine."  But I swear I can visualize a femme fatale walking into a stereotypical detective's office (feet kicked up on the desk) and him uttering a line similar to this.

So where was the detective connection to Humphrey Bogart? Ah yes, "The Maltese Falcon" in which he plays "Sam Spade".  But how did this quote get intertwined with Bogart's portrayal of Dashiell Hammett's private dick? I can only guess that some parody I've seen over the years employed it. Carol Burnett? I know Steve Lawrence played a "Sam Spade" character in "Double Calamity" on her show, but I couldn't find any scene that fit my memory.  Oh well, some mysteries aren't meant to be solved, only accepted.  Now you can see why I have trouble falling back asleep.

Anyway, back to my mystery.

I found this portrait in a box of photographs at a recent sale.

Monday, July 10, 2023

Manning Bowman Bonanza

Yes, it's another toaster and percolator post. What can I say?  These things almost seem to find me rather than the other way around.

A few weeks ago, I spotted a Manning Bowman percolator in all it's glorious Art Deco roundness.

Wednesday, June 28, 2023

Garage Selling

 For today's blog, I thought I'd do something I've never done before: write about my own garage sale.

Tuesday, May 23, 2023

Come Along with Me and I'll Garage Sale with Thee

I have a special treat for everyone today.  Well, "treat" may be a bit strong.  But if you've ever wondered what it was like to garage sale with me, this is your lucky day. Okay, "lucky" may be a bit strong.

Okay, let's not quibble with words.  You're wondering, What is Tom babbling about?"  I'm babbling, I mean, talking about my first (and maybe last) Garage Sale Finds vlog.

I've been toying with the idea of creating some vlogs of my garage and estate sales adventures for a while now.  I've been on the fence whether I wanted to go that direction, but thought I'd give it a shot.  I've watched other garage sale vlogs and have thought, "I find better stuff than that".

My next concern was, is it legal?  Of course, there are countless Youtube videos out there doing exactly this, but I was curious.  From what I've read, essentially, even if you on private property, but are "asked" to enter, you may videotape.  Kind of like a vampire.  I didn't plan on filming any actual people, so I decided to proceed (more on that later).

So this past weekend, I took my camera with me along for the ride (or walk as the case may be).  Videoing the sales was the easy part.  Editing them was something else.

My first challenge was, for obvious reasons, I didn't want people's faces to be shown.  There are a lot of people at garage sales these days.  Not like the old days when I'd be the lone person there.  Consequently, they bounce in and out of the video.  I tried to point the camera to shoot at waist height, but still ended up catching a lot of people. So finding software that could blur faces was my first task.  I ended up playing around with the online video editor Flixier.  It wasn't terribly hard to figure out how to use, although the blurring feature is fairly clunky.  It doesn't follow faces, so you have to blur out large blocks of video and move the blurring area frequently.  I did my best.

Second was adding some narrative to let you know what was going on.  I didn't talk too much during the actual video and I didn't feel like doing a voiceover, so I added some text explaining what I was looking at and my thoughts.

One last warning: it's long.  It's 17 minutes and 36 seconds long.  I'm sure there are long sections I could have edited out, but if you want the full effect of just 1 garage sale (I went to about 5 garage sales and 4 estate sales that day) it's all there.  You can always double the playback speed and watch it in 8 minutes and 48 seconds.

Will I do this again?  I guess it depends how much everyone enjoys the video...and if I can find some decent video editing software.

P.S.  I'll follow up with a later post in more detail of the actual items I bought.

P.S.S. That's my daughter with me in the video.  The garage sale force is strong with this one...

Wednesday, May 10, 2023

Coffee and Toast

This past weekend I attended a rummage sale at a local church, St. John's Evangelical in Mehlville, Missouri.  Rummage sales seem the last bastion of bargains.  Unfortunately, their primary way of advertising is by signs in front of the church, so I rarely know of them.  I just happened to be driving the route past this church last week and saw the sign.

Monday, May 1, 2023

Universal Toaster

Toast indeed is universal. Who doesn't love toast? (p.s. we can't be friends if you don't love toast).  And this is a Universal Toaster, patented 1914.  I found it at a private estate sale a few weekends ago.  It still amazes me people have these 100+ year-old toasters laying around.  And based on its condition, this one apparently was laying around in a dark corner of an attic or basement.

Friday, April 21, 2023

What was on TV April 21st through 27th, 1979

After a long hiatus (since 2020!), "What was on TV" returns with this April 21st through 27th, 1979 issue featuring Walter Cronkite who would retire from "The CBS Evening News" in 1980, though he would continue to work until his death in 2009.

Wednesday, April 5, 2023

Who's Your Friend When Things Get Rough?

I remember "H. R. Pufnstuf" playing on Sunday mornings when I was kid.  Being around 1974, it was in syndication.  I always thought it was kind of weird and wasn't one of my favorites, but when you're a kid and it's Sunday morning, pickings are slim.  Now, when it came to Sid & Marty's Krofft's later offering "Land of the Lost", I was completely in.  Dinosaurs, Sleestaks and Pakuni monkey men; what more could you ask for?

A few years ago, I discovered (via another garage sale find) that Six Flags once had a Krofft Puppet Theater and mascots dressed as Pufnstuf characters.  It didn't last long as the Kroffts attempted to open their own theme park, The World of Sid & Marty Krofft,  in 1976.

But I found this odd remnant of their association with Six Flags at an estate sale a few months ago.

Saturday, April 1, 2023

Saturday Evening Post Uncovered

 Back in 2015, I posted about a collection of coverless comic books I picked up at a garage sale.  This past year, I encountered just the obvious.  Covers without books.  In this case, they were Saturday Evening Post covers.  Obviously, the original owner liked the covers, but for space consideration, didn't keep the magazines.  They date from 1953 through 1961 and feature a variety of Saturday Evening Post artists, although Norman Rockwell is notably missing.  That could be because at the same sale were full copies of Norman Rockwell-covered Saturday Evening Posts.  I picked those up as well and may post them at some future date.

I've posted any interesting ads that appeared on the reverse side as well. Enjoy!

Thursday, March 30, 2023

A Not-So Sticky Mystery

As new as this looked, it was sitting on a shelf without a box in the basement of a recent sale.  However, by its design, I knew it wasn't new. It sported that 1960's space-age/UFO aesthetic.  

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Silex Science

This 1951 Silex syphon coffee maker joined the collection this past weekend.  I got it for 50% off at $5, plus the estate sale cashier threw in the rest of my items (mostly ephemera) for free, so I was happy.

Saturday, March 25, 2023

Play It Safe, Mister

So says this apple-headed youth. I guess we are to infer that Amoco gas is safe.

Saturday, February 25, 2023

Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary, How Does Your Toaster Toast?

I found this 4-slot "Mary Proctor" model P21601 toaster in the basement of a home this morning.  It was pretty dusty, but I could see the chrome underneath was in good condition.  It cleaned up nicely.

Friday, January 20, 2023

Even More Glasses with Character

Way way back in 2011 and 2012, I wrote about some Pepsi character glasses I'd found.  Back then, I was paying a quarter a piece.  Those days are long gone.  I actually don't see the character glasses too often at sales and when I do, it's only one or two priced at $10 each.

Last month, I hit the motherlode of Pepsi character glasses at an estate sale.  I wish I'd gotten a photo of the glasses as they were staged at the sale as they were stacked up to 5 glasses high with duplicates. I almost went into catatonic shock.

While they were priced at $7/glass (which is still less than you pay in antique malls), there were some bargains (and one downright steal) in the mix.

I ended up with these.

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